BURLINGTON – Kaneland midfielder Anthony Parillo fractured his wrist during a match a couple of weeks ago but only donned a cast Tuesday, the day before the Knights boys soccer team’s postseason opener.
Previously, the Knights’ leading scorer had gone with a brace, but the extra padding didn’t seem to bother him in Wednesday’s 5-1 win against Illinois Math and Science Academy in an IHSA Class 2A Burlington Central Regional semifinal.
“As you can see, he’s fine.” said Scott Parillo, Kaneland’s coach and Anthony’s father.
Anthony Parillo netted Kaneland’s second and third goals less than three minutes apart in the first half as the Knights seized a 5-0 lead by halftime.
Kaneland advances to Saturday’s regional championship match where Burlington Central almost surely will await. Second-seeded Central appeared to score a 3-1, rain-shortened win against Hampshire in the nightcap, though Whip-Purs coach John Gosling said afterward he was considering requesting a resumption of the final 11-plus minutes.
Both matches were played amid substantial rain, which gave Anthony Parillo a bit of pause regarding the cast on his right arm.
“Today it was a little heavy with the foam on it, just from the rain water, but not too much,” Anthony Parillo said.
His first goal of the evening, making it 2-0 Kaneland with 17:16 left in the first half, was a picturesque, bending strike after he made a slick move to create space.
“I just saw the keeper off his line, so I just cut it back, and decided to just curl it back post,” Anthony Parillo said.
His next score game him a team-leading 19 goals for the season, “not bad for a midfielder,” Scott Parillo said.
Kaneland (14-3-2) tallied first less than four minutes into the match on a goal by Tyler Siebert, who coach Parillo anticipated clicking in the match.
“I saw the matchups [during a scouting trip] and I just knew he was going to have a big game because he was much faster than their outside defender,” Scott Parillo of Siebert. “I knew he would have his way, and he did.”
Kushstrim Ismaili and Sam Rymarz also scored for the Knights, with the goal by Rymarz coming on a well-hammered free kick, aided by a favorable carom off the crossbar.
At that point, it was 5-0 Kaneland, but the second half brought some adversity for the top-seeded Knights when all-sectional goalkeeper Marshall Farthing left the game after being kneed in the tailbone, according to Scott Parillo. J.T. Karr replaced Farthing, allowing one second-half goal.
Scott Parillo is hopeful Farthing can return for the regional final, which he expects to be a tough assignment.
“Are you kidding me, look at the size of some of these kids,” Scott Parillo said as the Rockets and Whip-Purs warmed up nearby for their match. “It looks like some of these guys should be playing football.”
The wet conditions intensified during the Central-Hampshire match as a torrential downpour pelted players and fans for most of the match. Coaches and officials considered calling the match after Bryce Warner’s second goal put the Rockets up 3-1 with 24:08 to play in the second half but they decided to play on.
Moments later, the fiercest rain of the night drenched the field, and the game took on a farcical tone. The match was called with 11:14 to play, and Rockets players did a celebratory slide on the soaked grass.
“It was one thing when it was a goal mouth, it’s another thing when it’s the entire field,” Central coach Mike Gecan said. “We just tried to make the best decision for the players at that point.”
Provided the result holds, the Rockets improve to 17-3-2.
Gecan praised Warner, a senior forward, for another quality performance. His penalty kick goal made it 2-1 Central with 4:04 left in the first half.
“He’s a phenomenal player,” Gecan said. “He’s a team player, and it’s good to see him getting these opportunities.”
Hampshire scored first but the Rockets tied it with 21:23 left in the first half when sophomore Alan Camarena chipped in a rebound of teammate Sean Fitzgerald’s blast.